Overheard on CNN.com: Robin Gibb fans say Bee Gees' legacy far beyond disco
Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees pose together in 1973. Robin Gibb died Sunday at the age of 62.
May 21st, 2012
06:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Robin Gibb fans say Bee Gees' legacy far beyond disco

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

As readers remember Robin Gibb, 62, who died Sunday, they're also looking back at The Bee Gees' legacy. While the Brothers Gibb are sometimes associated with the disco era, many commenters pointed out that they had a career well before "Saturday Night Fever." They performed together as kids and had several hits in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Robin Gibb, member of the Bee Gees, dies after battle with cancer

The Bee Gees were more than "Saturday Night Fever," many readers said.

ganderse: "They call this guy a disco singer, but the Bee Gees were so much more than that. These guys wrote some amazing songs! They were not just rockers, but balladeers as well. Songs like 'The First of May,' and 'Dearest' still make me cry. Thanks, guys for some great music."

Laura Shafer: "I'm pretty sure that people who don't appreciate the brilliance of the Bee Gees are those that have never listened to music outside of their favorite FM radio station. There were Bee Gees before SNF, during SNF and after SNF. And if disco music itself was such a travesty, why are we still listening to it and talking about it 30 years later? Godspeed, Robin. With now only one brother left to us, it is a sad day."

One reader paid tribute to the songwriting.

WmPreece: "First of all it's sad to loose another music talent. Robin was one of the key voices of the Bee Gees. The song 'I Started a Joke' always endured time and really made people think a lot about things. Every time he performed it, the level of excellence was always the same ... The other thing is that while some never heard of the Bee Gees or remember them have probably heard a song or two that was written by them done by other performers and groups. Almost anyone in the music business that scored a hit in the past 20 years probably have had a it written or co-written by one of the Bee Gees. As for the people getting on here making stupid or rude comments, you would think that there would be more respect or maturity rather than acting too poorly. It takes less effort if you just let people who do care make comments and move on.

Getting back to Robin's passing, he will be missed by millions of fans and condolences goes out to the Gibb family on another loss. Andy was to young and unfortunately was beyond saving. Maurice and Robin endured a lot of suffering before they passed on. May his children and beautiful wife know his voice touched a lot of people. The rest of the Gibb family and especially Barry the last of the brothers know prayers and support goes out to them during this time. Thanks to all the Gibb brothers for making such great music over several decades and endured the test of time. Whether it was an early hit or later hit background harmonies on many tunes or writing some of the best tunes the talent you shared is much appreciated ... bless you all ..."

iReporter Allen Mealey of Moreno Valley, California, looked back fondly on the stages of the Bee Gees' career and said the loss of Robin Gibb leaves a hole.

"The early years, when I lived in Valdosta, Georgia, were my favorite. The love songs had me dreaming of fast cars and women at a young age. I saw the Bee Gees in concert at Dodger Stadium in 1979. Over 80,000 fans filled the massive 'dance party' show ... The world's biggest disco! So now Robin Gibb joins Donna Summer in disco heaven. The dance floor from our generation up there is getting full now. We are starting to feel old ... But the legacy will live on with the music. Somewhere in the world right now, a nightclub is playing a Bee Gees song."

What was the role of the "disco phase" in the Bee Gees' history?

PaulRAnderson: "'Disco' group The Bee Gees? Hardly. Their disco era was a small part of their career. Rest in peace, Robin."

harryreid: "Unfortunately they will be remembered more as a disco group than anything else. I felt their best efforts were prior to the mid '70s. A very talented group no matter which era."

Susan Barth: "I liked them 'til they went disco. Disco sucks ..."

Some readers talked about the Bee Gees' history.

SpiderWoman4: "All of the Brothers Gibb have died young. Andy at 30. Maurice at 53. And now Robin at 62. People live into their 80s now. 62 is too young to die. Robin said that his recent problems and his brothers' deaths may be the "Karmic price" they have to pay for all of their fame and fortune. I don't believe that. I believe Andy was born with a heart condition and both Robin and Maurice were born with bowel problems. Maurice died from his bowel problems. Robin had bowel and pancreatic cancer. Their fate was probably sealed for them a long time before they became famous. RIP Robin."

A few commenters said they were feeling their age.

Rick1948: "You know you're getting old when all the people you watched or listened to in your teens and twenties are dying off. No matter what you thought about disco, the Bee Gees were a great group."

edofmtl: "Robin 62, Donna Summer 63. What's up with this. Is 60 the new 80?"

newescher7: "I'm 62 and feel like 20. Seems if you make it through the late 50s and early 60s, you're good for another 20 years. The strange thing is that around the late 50s, you really start hearing about friends and acquaintances dropping like flies. To all you youngsters out there - live like every day is your last. It comes faster than you could ever imagine."

Enjoy what you can.

Glades2: "It really shows how short this life is - Donna Summer was about the same age but when you're in the 20s and 30s you don't consider you are only going to be here for a handful (perhaps) of fleeting decades - or less - until you get to my generation (the next one down from these folks) and then the illnesses start to come to yourself or your peers (as they did for me last year), and then you suddenly realize that this life is truly short, but that doesn't mean you should go crazy and do 'whatever,' but it does mean you have to appreciate what God has given you and to do your best to make a difference in this world – may he rest in God's peace ..."

Disco harmed the band, says this reader.

Thecbr1100: "The Bee Gees were without equal to me. From the '60s to their final album in 2001, I loved every single one of them. They were also brilliant in the '80s to anyone who listened to their music. Unfortunately they were marred by most in the U.S. due to their association to disco b/c they were asked to write songs for a disco movie. Their music was constantly evolving but still had the Bee Gees underlying stamp of soul on it. The world has lost a great artist and person, who happened to sing with one of the most penetratingly beautiful voices ever to grace our ears. RIP Robin."

Of course this reader has fond memories of some of it.

Susan L. Trout: "Talent upon talent–that's the Bee Gees! They created and performed music that is both beautiful and downright great dance music. Every time I hear 'Night Fever,' I want to get up and hustle. Robin, you join some wonderful singers and musicians in heaven. Heck, at the rate we're going, all the great talent will be there and we'll have to wait our turn to live it again. And as a friend of mine reminded us, using the words of a famous rock song - 'If there's a rock n' roll heaven, I know they got a hellava band'! Prayers for your family and thank you for giving us the gift of beautiful music for so many years."

Remember the 1970s?

Poutso: "EVERYTHING was more fun back in the '70s! The music was incredibly and massively creative, whether you're talking pop, rock or disco/dance music! There were less lawyers and frivolous lawsuits, and you couldn't die from having sex (AIDS, HPV-16 causing cancer, etc.)! Life was more carefree, and life was more affordable than it is now. American industry had not yet been off-shored or exported to cheap labor countries. RIP Robin Gibb, and RIP to a truly great era, and the peak of American life and culture!"

Good times, they were.

aholee: "A doobie, a glass of wine and a Bee Gees album is the reason a lot of people born in the late '60s and the '70s are here today at all. This was getting-laid music. Rest In Peace Robin Gibb, all of the truly gifted musicians are already in heaven."

What's your take? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Music • Overheard on CNN.com • Showbiz
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Jimmy Hendrix's Ghost

    Midnight special ! remember ?

    May 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Wolfman Jack! Oh, yeah!
      Don'r forget 'Don Kirschner's Rock Concert'...

      May 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Dang I remember all of them. Our age is showing.lol

      May 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Taylor

      I do. Barry: "Try to Say King Crimson three time fast"
      Robin & Maurice "King Crimson King Crimson King Crimson"
      Then King Crimson played the tune Easy Money.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    If only I could start a new set...hmmmm. I'd start out with April Wine – All Over Town.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • hardcase59

      Good choice!

      May 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hardcase59

    Disco sucked!!

    May 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Taylor

      Yes, it absolutely did... mostly.... but these guys were crafting great great songs, on par with The Beatles, long before Disco. Fantastic harmonies, great rockers and ballads. I miss that version of the band, they were truly excellent.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jimmy Hendrix's Ghost

    Queens' Bohemian Rhapsody .... and a keg 😉

    May 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the fandango?

      As for WJ, didn't he howl or something? Oh, yeah, it's the Midnight Special?
      Not sure...

      May 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jimmy Hendrix's Ghost

    The WOLF MAN!!!!!!!!!!!
    What did he use to say every night?

    May 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jimmy Hendrix's Ghost

    Yeah, I can see me letting it hang with the wolf ...
    @ Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity", You, me, and Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™ gonna cruz sometime with top down while our *fros* blow...
    Peace out ....

    May 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. treblemaker

    I've been an old pro piano man for the last 40 years. I've played it all, from classic rock to bebop jazz. At least the Bee Gees crafted great songs that were worthy of any era. It's a shame they were constrained by the deafening monotony of disco, but they made the best of it. Nobody could touch their songwriting ability during that time. And the 3 part harmonies? Their exquisite blend and timing were unmatched in their era. RIP, Robin. Barry, it's up to you to carry on now. Be strong.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jimmy Hendrix's Ghost

    (Awooooooooooooooooooooo.. It's the wolf man here ... hello to all my *cats* out there... 🙂
    Thanks banasy©, for that memory..
    Ok, Nite all

    May 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    "I love the flower girl" -Cowsills
    That one draws a blank on lyrics!!

    May 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    Oh, okay, yep.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jimmy Hendrix's Ghost

    A HUGE ... H@LL YEAH! to that treblemaker...
    Them, The Beatles, John Lennon, too tired now to think of anyone else...
    Nites kitties ... my hearts a hurtin gotta go....
    Light fading out now...

    May 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Good night, JH's G.

    @Jeff Frank:
    The Cowsills?
    That's going a bit far for even me...

    May 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Scottish Mama

    I had forgotten about Wolfman. Memories are beautiful.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. : ....

    After all the jacks are in their boxes
    And the clowns have all gone to bed
    You can hear happiness staggering on down the street
    Footprints dressed in red
    And the wind whispers Mary

    A broom is drearily sweeping
    Up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life
    Somewhere a queen is weeping
    Somewhere a king has no wife
    And the wind, it cries Mary

    The traffic lights they turn up blue tomorrow
    And shine their emptiness down on my bed
    The tiny island sags downstream
    ‘Cause the life that lived is, is dead
    And the wind screams Mary

    Will the wind ever remember
    The names it has blown in the past
    And with his crutch, it’s old age, and it's wisdom
    It whispers no, this will be the last
    And the wind cries Mary

    May 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Ah yes, another Hendrix great...

      May 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    The rain, the park, and other things – Cowsills I had to hunt this down. 😉
    I saw her sitting in the rain
    Raindrops falling on her
    She didn't seem to care
    She sat there and smiled at me
    Then I knew
    She could make me happy
    Flowers in her hair
    Flowers everywhere
    I love the flower girl
    Oh, I don't know just why, she simply caught my eye
    I love the flower girl
    She seemed so sweet and kind, she crept into my mind
    To my mind
    I knew I had to say hello
    She smiled up at me
    And she took my hand
    And we walked through the park alone
    And I knew
    She had made me happy
    Flowers in her hair
    Flowers everywhere
    I love the flower girl
    Oh, I don't know just why, she simply caught my eye
    I love the flower girl
    She seemed so sweet and kind, she crept into my mind
    To my mind
    Suddenly, the sun broke through
    I turned around, she was gone
    All I had left
    Was one little flower in my hand
    But I knew
    She had made me happy
    Flowers in her hair
    Flowers everywhere
    I love the flower girl
    Was she reality or just a dream to me?
    I love the flower girl
    Her love showed me the way to find a sunny day
    Sunny day
    I love the flower girl
    Was she reality or just a dream to me?
    I love the flower girl

    May 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      OMG! OMG, I remember it now, Jeff!

      May 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
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